Saturday, October 14, 2006

Psycho Babble

Apparently there is a line that talking heads at FOX cannot cross. No, not Hannity, "Five in the Noggin" Gibson or O' only applies to sportscasters... The annoying Steve Lyons was fired by FOX after Friday's game when he made a "racially insensitive comment" in the booth...
Later, Piniella said the A's needed Thomas to get "en fuego" -- hot in Spanish -- because he was currently "frio" -- or cold. After Brennaman praised Piniella for being bilingual, Lyons spoke up.

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."

"I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit too close to him now," Lyons continued.

FOX executives told Lyons after the game he had been fired.

That sounds pretty bad. And that's the way I read the news at David Pinto's site, but there is actually a plausible excuse for what Lyons said. Sort of...
In the second inning of Friday's game between Detroit and Oakland, Piniella talked about the success light-hitting A's infielder Marco Scutaro had in the first round of the playoffs. Piniella said that slugger Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez needed to contribute, comparing Scutaro's production to "finding a wallet on Friday" and hoping it happened again the next week.

Without the context of Piniella's earlier wallet analogy, it looks pretty bad for Lyons. But I believe him when he says he was kidding...
"If I offended anybody, I'm truly sorry," Lyons said in a phone interview. "But my comment about Lou taking my wallet was a joke and in no way racially motivated."

It was a joke about Piniella, not a joke about Hispanics being pickpockets. I won't miss Lyons in the booth because I found him annoying (though his replacement today was actually worse), but he deserved to be fired for being a tool and a shitty analyst, not for being a trumped-up racist.


S.W. Anderson said...

You make an excellent case.

Also, isn't it odd that this is happening on the network whose news cousin is devoted to folks who think being the least bit PC is un-American?

Mr Furious said...

Silly Lyons, doesn't he realize all of the anti-immigrant hysteria belongs on FOX News not FOX Sports?

Punchy said...

Mike and Mike from ESPN had him on today, and wow, I was shocked at how fast he was fired. Heard an transcript of the audio (ESPN chickenshittedly wouldn't replay the actual broadcast....), and honestly, I couldn't figure out at all what the prob was with his comments. He said Fox fired him as he was flying back to LA to talk to 'em...basically, while he was ex-communicado. THAT's a piece of shit way to fire someone.

Seems as though he's had some incidents in the past that have got some attention (Shaun Green, f.e.), but what good color-men don't say some dumb stuff? Aren't they paid for exactly that? Color? Excitement? As much as I find Fox's broadcast team lacking (MacCarver may be THE worst of all), I think Lyons got hosed. Big time